I’m not sure where to start… do I comment first on how this picture is fairly striking as I’m a yogini who doesn’t use swear words outside of my familiar circle? Or do I comment on how in the world one would find gratefulness in a double-parked scenario?
I guess I’ll just start from the beginning and take you down one woman’s journey to the dentist. You see, I LOVE going to the dentist. SERIOUSLY. I promise I’m not joking! When people hear me say this, they assume I’m being sarcastic or silly, but I’m really not. I discovered the coolest and friendliest oral hygienist and dentist around. I actually have a great time going to the dentist! Best music, treat me like a human, actually remember me. Sometimes I feel like I’m walking into Cheers where everyone knows my name. But the fact that I adore my dentist’s office is neither here nor there (for those of you whose interest is piqued and live in Sonoma County: Glen Ellen Family Dentistry… shot out!).
OK, no more digressing. I’m in a rush to get to my exciting dentist appointment and there is only one teeny tiny parking lot behind the office. Can you believe the lot is shared between a well-known and fancy restaurant, a post office, and the dentist office? I see only one spot available and it’s slightly marked with a USPS sign (there was another USPS sign next to it that was clearly labeled with a very official-looking number) and I do what any smart woman would do: I evaluate who is parking where. There’s a Beemer parked between the trash and recycling bins a bit catty-cornered. There’s another car parked in another USPS spot. A woman is walking out from the restaurant and she’s parked in the Dentistry Only parking. In my highly intelligent mind I can defer that it is a free-for-all and I park in the USPS parking spot, (again, the only spot available).
I head in, take care of business, hang out and laugh, come out with my pearly whites and… wait a minute… something looks off. I see a glimpse of my car: a car parked to the right of Dark & Stormy (yes, that’s what I’ve named HER) in a USPS parking spot, a USPS truck parked to the left of Dark & Stormy, and… gasp… a USPS truck parked right BEHIND her. No… FRICKIN’… way. I did mention I don’t often use curse words in public or in front of those that don’t know me, didn’t I?!
I’m just standing there, in the middle of the lot. I’m seriously at a loss for words and most friends can tell you that rarely happens. I couldn’t believe it. What kinda @$$X0!3 would do this to meeeeee? I’m a decent human being for goodness sake. I was having a bad day (ok, month) before I got to the dentist office and was just trying to seek some solace and albeit comfort from good people who care about their jobs and now THIS.
So, I’m human. My mind starts reeling, actually using Texan cuss words in my mind, envisioning how horrible this person looks (appearance-wise), if I had the bodily strength and a crow bar what I’d do to that USPS truck (no, I was not thinking about any kind of laws in that brief moment), and on and on and on. It felt like I had an eternity to think through all of this, and it was about one whole second. (Disclaimer: No USPS trucks were harmed in the making of this blog.)
But then I stopped. Just like that. I CHOSE not to continue this super unproductive rant. And I took a breath in. And I took a breath out. And I asked for and accepted help. One person almost took me down a spiral of misery. Instead, I became utterly aware of what replaced this doom and gloom:
After-Hours USPS Gentleman: He knocked on the door of the USPS office, he even called the main office to ask for someone to come and move the truck to no avail. He was kind and non-judgemental.
Dentist: Went INTO the restaurant kitchen to ask for the staff member who parked to the right of Dark & Stormy (DS) to move their car.
Oral Hygienist: Normalized the situation saying everyone always parks every where and it wasn’t nice of them (ok, she wasn’t afraid to use swear words, but I’ll leave those out!).
Waitress: Moved her car to the right of DS, guided me as I tried to get out of this crazy spot, and even got IN my car to try to get DS out of the tight squeeze.
Manager: Came out to help guide the DS within inches of these 2 USPS trucks.
Kitchen Staff Gentleman: He got in my car too and was creative! He saved the day and got my car free… free at last!
So count them… six (6) wonderful people helped me in a pickle of a situation for the one (1) person who caused me affliction. Holy cow… what a beautiful realization!
I also decided to be the bigger person (OK, I can’t be too big. I’m only 5 feet tall for crying out loud.) but I’ll document it here: I should have tried to find parking somewhere else and I take full responsibility for not honoring the sign. It feels so awesome to be accountable! There’s a bit of freedom in it. I had a part in this conflict, and I can have a part OUT of this conflict.
I also put myself in the other person’s shoes: Boy, they must have had a BAD day too if they decided to park right behind me; What if they were late picking up their kids from the YMCA?; What if their home-life was in shambles and they were just at wits end and I was the icing on the cake? I held compassion for this unknown person.
I gifted all of these unknown and helpful folks with the rarity of my hugs. I had no idea how to repay them and I was overjoyed with their selflessness. I am humbled at their teachings and their random act of kindness. I’m also grateful for the moment of clarity and the bravery of my CHOICE: I chose to not let one wonky situation take me down the rabbit hole. I smiled and laughed. I chose to be present and I saw the gift of the present. I am grateful for all of this.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my first tale of woe and whoa! Please comment below on your experiences. I’d love to see how you’ve turned a crummy moment/day into something fruitful.